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Spooky Movie Spotlight!
Street Zombies! (aka: Ozone)
by:
Dr. Boogie

It's been a while since my last, and first, spooky movie review. I've been using the time to reflect upon the impact that Ax 'Em has made on contemporary society, and how Michael Mfume has finally made it big as an actor/director in Hollywood. Now, though, in honor of the Halloween season, and because I haven't written anything substantial for the site in months, I am obligated to bring forth another burnt offering to the gods of garbage horror films.

As with my first one, I was concerned that I would have trouble finding a suitable specimen, but as it turns out, Blockbuster video has at least two god-awful scary movies per letter of the alphabet in their vast "New" Releases section. Since the S section was just outside of the PS2 aisle, it was decided that I would be making my selection from that particular letter. Today's movie is a tale of grotesque, but cheap, special effects and allegedly "remastered" footage. An eye-biting bit of cinematic frottage entitled Street Zombies!

Before I go any further, I feel that it's worth mentioning that this particular crap movie included a commentary by the director. Oh, lucky me, I thought to myself upon making this discovery. Perhaps he'll be ready to explain some of the more confusing aspects as well as some of the cheaper special effects. Of course, the movie itself is about an hour and a half long, and I was not interested in the least to sit there and listen to the director's asinine stories for that long, so I just skipped to the parts where commentary would be almost required to explain just what the hell is going on and what the hell the director/writer/producer/actors/whoever was thinking when they made a certain scene.

That said, onto the review:

This scene was lit by the brake lights of the director's car.

A typical scene in the big city: a junkie is out looking for his next score amidst colored lighting and piles of cardboard boxes. His dealer tells him that he's got something new for him to try, and then gives it to him without asking for anything in return. What a prince.

He's going to get the drop on that pesky vein.

Back at the junkie's secret basement lair, he melts the little black pebbles from the vial and prepares to inject them into his arm. After tying himself off, though, he draws back the needle and stabs himself right in the elbow joint. Now, I'm not a doctor or anything, but I'm fairly sure that you don't need a windup when injecting something. Maybe it's a part of getting high.

Street Zombies is my anti-drug.

Unfortunately, it turns out that injecting a black liquid made from rocks you got from a creepy drug dealer is not a great idea. Our man's veins start to stand at attention, and his neck starts to bubble up like a bullfrog. All this, however, leads to the movie's first defining moment:

BLAMMO!!

Kablooie!!! His head goes off like a watermelon full of m-80s. You can even see his rubbery face being tossed aside by the explosion. Not a bad way to introduce the title graphic, if I do say so myself.

Their date isn't going well.

Now then, meet the two protagonists of the film, Mike and Eddie. Don't get too attached to Mike, though. As it turns out, they're on a stakeout, looking for a drug dealer named Richter. As luck would have it, Richter is meeting with a customer approximately twenty feet from Eddie's car.

Warning:  may cause cranial combustion.

Right now, Richter is in the middle of his meeting with "Squeaky." The significance of this "Squeaky" character is never explained in the movie. I guess he's just another relative who contributed money to this awful film. Anyway, he tells Richter that he's "hurtin'," and that he brought what Richter wanted: the two cops parked in view of their little meeting. Pleased, Richter gives his little helper monkey a vial full of the head-smattering "Ozone". Once he does, Eddie and Mike come out to make the arrest. They tell Richter to freeze, but they're good enough sports to give him time to draw his own weapon, and they exchange fire briefly. Squeaky just looks on calmly (though confusedly) as the bullets start flying, and finally takes off once Richter is gunned down. Mike runs after him while Eddie goes over to rifle through Richter's pockets.

Push the plunger, dammit!

He's not quite dead yet, though, and manages to grab Eddie and stabs him with a syringe. I swear, this movie is full of improper syringe usage. Anyway, for the sake of plot, let's just assume that stabbing and injecting are analogous. Richter declares, "have a nice trip, asshole," and dies.

Draw, pardner!

Meanwhile, Mike has pursued Squeaky into a building equipped with long hallways and neon colored lighting. He looks around, and somebody steps out into the pink lighting! Oh, the suspense! A few other shadowy characters join the first in the pink, and start shambling towards him. Mike barks orders, brandishes his gun, and basically does everything the scared cop is supposed to do in zombie movies.

Mike is shooting offscreen to reload.

Enter the loping zombie. Mike yells at him and then shoots him, only to realize that he's not human! Oh, the terror! Said terror is lessened slightly when the zombie starts to slowly stumble towards Mike as if he were trying to carry an invisible big screen TV. Oh but it's back up again when a zombie sneaks up on Mike from behind.

They put some newspaper down for just such an occassion.

The sneaky, commando zombie lops off Mike's hand with a shard of glass. Had I known back when I was a kid that broken glass could easily slice through skin and bone, I wouldn't have spent hours playing with handfuls of the stuff. Well the countdown is on for poor old Mike. He grabs his stump and howls and pain before fleeing to a storage room.

Door wrecking is not a one-man job.

Unfortunately, Mike's brilliant plan of bracing the door by leaning a two-by-four against it fails when the zombies punch through it, and also because the board slides off because he didn't brace the damned thing at all. Man, some people just can't cope at all with the sudden lose of a hand. Anyway, the zombies bust through the upper half of the door, and Mike screams like a woman when he sees them. We'll miss you, Mike.

I want that sandwich on my desk in one hour, Eddie!
"Well, you screwed the pooch this time, Eddie!"

Back at the crime scene, Eddie gets a pep talk from the captain, during which the above caption is uttered. I wasn't aware that screwing the pooch was a bad thing. I mean, I didn't think that Eddie's performance warranted pooch-screwing. I mean… Let's just change the subject. The captain is surprisingly unconcerned about the fact that one of his men didn't come back from pursuing his suspect, but life is tough out on the streets, and sometimes, you need to just cut your losses when it comes to your staff.

Back at the station, Eddie gets chewed out even more by Chief Hamface. The captain says that he needs to talk some time off because he's been making mistakes, like walking right into that whole syringe debacle. They exchange some second-rate cop dialogue, oddly enough without saying, "by the book" even once, and Eddie storms off. Right into the film's next defining moment.

What was I thinking when I agreed to this movie?

Eddie heads to the bathroom, presumably to wash the captain's spittle off of his face. And then, the fun begins:

He'd better rinse that out when he's finished.

His wrist starts bleeding like crazy, and he is soon sitting against the wall, beset by cheap morphing effects…

I'll bet he can fit his whole hand in there.

… like this one.

Is that an ear?

And then some chunks of something appear on the floor.

Big deal.  My granpa did the same thing.

And then this happens, for some reason.

Not my Clamato!

And in the end, his eyes just fall out and he collapses in a pool of watery blood.
Dynamite.

Nice shorts, Eddie.

Oh, thank god it was all a dream! Maybe this has something to do with that drug dealer injecting me with a mystery chemical. Maybe I should contact a doctor, or something. Nah. He just grabs himself a beer and he's ready to face another day. By the way, who the hell sleeps in bicycle shorts?

Kiss the ring, biatch.

After Eddie drives off, we get an exterior shot of the building where Mike ate it, and then a shot of the house's occupant: a big sack of crap with poor taste in jewelry. Ah, foreshadowing for dummies.

Meanwhile, Mike heads back to the crime scene for a look around. He locates that house, and finds his badge just in front of the door, so he steps inside for a look around. Amidst the awful lighting, he finds a dead body and a severed finger. Which I will not show you. After all, you just saw Eddie pull a stunt like the Nazi from the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I think you deserve better than a puny corpse and a finger. After the finger-finding room, however, he meets a zombie who, after asking if Eddie's been "transformed," utters a truly memorable line:

Here's a great character - Racist zombie.
"You smell… like a brother!"

Wow. Somebody call the NAACP. The director had nothing to say about this line in the commentary. Now, giving the benefit of the doubt, that was meant to mean that Eddie smelled like one of the zombies, but come on. Eddie excuses himself from this weird situation, but falls through a weak spot in the floor as he's backtracking. In the floor below, there are a few more bodies, but again, you've certainly come to expect better than a few measly corpses by now. Bottom line: nothing else happens and Eddie escapes.

His next stop in his investigation is Mike's apartment.

I'll open the door, but first, compliment me on my hair.

After yelling at Mike's door for a minute, Eddie asks the janitor if she has the key. They squabble like a married couple for a bit, but she eventually lets him in. That reminded me that I need to talk with my landlady about not letting people into my home after they annoy her for a bit. Inside, the master detective discovers nothing helpful, until the answering machine announces itself. As it turns out, Mike has three messages: one from another detective, one from his mother, and one from a zombie that sounds remarkably like Popeye the sailorman. The message itself, though, is more for Eddie, as Popeye makes a few death threats about ripping out Eddie's intestines, and stuffing him into a can of spinach.

Remember:  Stab, AND inject.

Well, that was a productive stop. Back at Eddie's car, a beat cop tells him that they're looking for him back at the station. Once he gets Eddie out of the car, however, the gloves come off. It turns out that the cop was also allied with the zombies, and he's got a needle full o' the stuff for Eddie. A light kick in the groin, however, tosses the cop aside.

Hey, I'm fightin' here!

What's even more surprising that the vulnerability of the zombie cop's groin, is that after being shoved backwards, he's almost hit by a speeding car. In a parking lot! It misses him, but after a little more fighting, another speeding car shows up and this one hits him! What the hell? Even better than the speeders, however, is the coup de grace:

He's actually yawning.
ZOIKS!

Always wear a helmet when in a parking lot.

A third, and final, speeding car comes along and flattens the cop's head like a football. In the commentary, the director mentions that he used to get teased a lot about "the parking lot scene." I can't imagine why. The driver of the car and some other guy who comes in from off camera look at the body, shocked at the events that just transpired. Whether they're shocked because of the death, or because the driver saw the man well before she crushed his head remains uncertain.

Eddie's next stop is a dive bar full of colorful patrons.

Reminds me of high school.

Take these two gentlemen. For a while, everything seems to be going alright. Sure, the bartender is eye-balling him a bit, and the crowd seems a little worse for wear, and sure, "That Achy Breaky Song" (the equally nauseating parody of "Achy Breaky Heart) is playing in the background, but at least no one's trying to kill him. At least not until he finds another junkie doing Ozone and coming apart in the bathroom. Then, things get ugly.

Did you just say you hate Lynerd Skynerd, boy?

Now I'd be scared too if I were in Eddie's shoes, a black man receiving angry stares from a crowd of angry white people in bar playing country music, especially after hearing that line about smelling like a brother. Luck is with Eddie, however, and instead of being killed outright, he is carried off to an arena, presumably in the bar's basement.

Hey, I want one of those!

They give Eddie an axe handle with a buzzsaw blade at the end of it, and tell him to fight off a muscular guy with an identical weapon. Again, maybe I'm looking into this too much, but is there some sort of undertone when two black guys fight to the death in front of a bunch of white people underneath a country bar? Anyway, Eddie triumphs, and when the zombies start freaking out, he grabs his shirt and escapes through a hole in the wall.

Couldn't act her way out of this movie.

After coming out of the hole, he meets Justine, a woman who claims to be living in the tunnels. Boy, living in the tunnels under a bar. And you thought you had it rough. I have to say, though, Justine is easily the worst actress in this fingerpress of a movie. Still, when she starts creepily flirting with Eddie, he goes along with it. Even when she starts to lick his syringe wound.

Mmm, inedible goo.

Pretty nasty, huh? Not to mention that the director points out that the stuff used for the wound is not edible. Well, the wound-licking seems to be working nicely for Eddie, though. Weirdo. What happens next, though… I just don't know.

Will the movie make a sudden turn and somehow
become an absolutely brilliant cinematic masterpiece?

CONTINUE TO PAGE 2 TO FIND OUT!



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